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Visitors can dive into festival

SCUBA instructor Phyllis Crumb helps a young diver with his equipment. For a $20 fee, visitors at the Flint RiverQuarium Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival can learn the basics and see what life is like from inside the aquarium blue hole. (Special photo)

SCUBA instructor Phyllis Crumb helps a young diver with his equipment. For a $20 fee, visitors at the Flint RiverQuarium Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival can learn the basics and see what life is like from inside the aquarium blue hole. (Special photo)

ALBANY — Those who want to know what it would be like to dive and see underwater creatures in a different light but who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into a certification course can learn the basics Saturday at the Flint RiverQuarium’s Water, Wings & Wildlife Festival.

Discover SCUBA, an introductory diving program, will allow participants to learn diving basics, followed by a rare opportunity to dive into the RiverQuarium’s Blue Hole exhibit.

Classes will be led by expert SCUBA certified professionals Phyllis and Larry Crumb, Jason Stone and Jacki Immons, all with Adventure Dive Center. Phyllis Crumb began diving in 1995 and became an instructor in 1998. She and her husband, Larry, have also volunteered with the Flint RiverQuarium dive program since its inception and are responsible each Christmas for the Flint RiverQuarium parade float. She said she is excited to be offering the Discover SCUBA class because it allows her to share her enthusiasm for the sport.

WWW FESTIVAL

What: The Flint RiverQuarium Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival

When: 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Flint RiverQuarium

Admission: $8.50 per ticket for all ages; add a movie for $3. Cost is $20 to participate in the Discover SCUBA program and advance registration is required.

More Info: Visit http://flintriver...>

“Diving is, without, a doubt, the most peaceful, beautiful and stimulating thing I have ever done,” she says. Her dives have taken her to some of the most scenic spots in the world, including Costa Rica, St. Croix, the Bahamas, the Dry Tortugas, the Florida Keys, Cozumel, and the Cayman Islands.

“I can’t wait to introduce other people to the magic of diving,” she said. “It literally opens up a whole new world-an underwater world-to them. They learn how to survive in what is really a foreign environment.”

While participants of Discover SCUBA will not receive an actual SCUBA certification, they will be guided through basic training skills as well as safety and equipment requirements. All dive equipment and gear will be provided, including a wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins, a buoyancy compensating jacket that also carries the scuba tank, a scuba regulator to breathe from and instrumentation to monitor depth and air supply.

Participants must be at least 12 years old. The cost is $20 per person. Times are 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 11:15 p.m.–1:45 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.– 3 p.m.

Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Register by contacting the Flint RiverQuarium Education Manager Melissa Martin at mmartin@flintriverquarium.com or (229) 639-2650 Ext. 226.